Off Camera Flash - Get Your Flash on a Pole
About 3 or 4 years ago I had a local metal worker turn an adaptor for me in order to convert a painters extension pole into a lighting boom which would take standard ⅝" 16mm lighting accessories.
Prototype VAL Spigot in use at a lighting demo for Brighton Photographers Group in 2011
with Ben Potter, one of the best VALs in the business
I did look at other products in the market but found that they weren't suited to me for a number of reasons, including some variation between manufacturing tolerances on painters pole threads.
The adaptor I designed uses a thumb screw to secure the accessories to the end of the pole, not an internal thread which can and will work loose unless secured with some sort of retro fit screw.
Enter the 1420 VAL Spigot adaptor
Why VAL some ask? Voice Activated Light stand aka assistant or anyone willing to hold the pole where instructed for short periods of time.
The 1420 VAL Spigot
To quote Rick Friedman, Board of Directors, Boston Press Photographers Association
"I have a 1420 VAL Spigot in my bag, just in case.
If it gets me out of a fix it's well worth the price!"
This accessory is machined from aluminium by a small family business close our base here in Sunny Sussex. It benefits from ¼" 20 UNC thread on the tip, ⅝" 16mm spigot, both film, TV & still photography standards for lightweight lighting grip accessories. It also gives the option of fitting inline or at 90º which may be of use to some.
The 1420 VAL Spigot will fit the majority of painters extension poles with a threaded metal tip - we do not suggest or recommend using cheap poles with plastic threaded tips as they are prone to breaking.
In my experience painters extension poles are built to take daily use in the building and decorating business and cost substantially less than boom poles from a photographic manufacturer. At April 2014 prices expect to pay less than £40.00 (40 GB Pounds) for a 1420 VAL Spigot and quality painters pole which will extend up to 3 metres.
Get your flash on a pole
The 1420 VAL Spigot is a compact, light weight, versatile photography lighting accessory
The 1420 VAL Spigot not only fits the tip of many painters extension poles, but any number of rods, bars or tubes between 13 & 19mm diameter providing you think they'll take the load - we'll not make any recommendations here only suggestions!
Variable jaw bar clamp accessory created with a 1420 VAL Spigot
Another application we've found for the 1420 VAL Spigot is as a lighting clamp when fitted to a bar clamp used by wood workers. Many of these clamps have a ¾" bar which is a perfect fit into the holes on the 1420 VAL Spigot, meaning you can fit lights to door tops, door frames, pillars, shelves, and tables.
Very soon the 1420 VAL Spigot will also be available with a cold shoe adaptor so all you need is painters pole and you have a ready made lighting boom or stand.
Painters extension poles are available from many hardware or DIY stores and specialist painting and decorating suppliers. In the UK our favourite brand is Harris and in the US we're reliably informed that Shur Line pole are one of the best.
The 1420 Spigot is available from selected retailers in the UK or direct from www.gelclip.com or via www.facebook.com/gelclip
1420 VAL Spigot - the accessory to get you out of a fix!